One Dark Day
Torn: The Known World
Torn is the name of the world, given to it by its inhabitants in a language spoken by none who remember its meaning. Wild and savage, the landscape is peppered with isolated and mostly sovereign city-states, interspersed sparsely with settlements, villages, and camps of handfuls of hardy peoples. Vast areas remain untamed and untouched by the light of civilization, and none yet exist who can claim more authority than the reach of their city walls, save one vastly expanding empire.
To an outside observer from the outer planes, Torn is a roughly spheroid planet inverted on its axis by almost ninety degrees. The planet has a rotational deviation of fifteen degrees, giving it a perceptable wobble and preventing the Sun from being stationary at any point on the planet, and allowing the sun-drenched Northern Hemisphere to have short, but extant, nights, though the North Pole points squarely at the sun and is bathed in perpetual daylight, and sits as the relative equator. This area is lush and prosperous, the soil black with riches and promise, and there sits the center of civilization. The geographical equator is moderate and temperate, mostly forested and jungled area. The continents are nearly pangeaic and there is only one Ocean, though many inland seas exist. The South Pole is an uninhabited, frozen, dark wasteland, though dwarven settlements along the mountainous taigas in the southern hemisphere do prosper near the region. Because the main continent of Torn lies geographically East, relatively North, the vast Western Ocean is almost entirely unexplored as ships have not yet been built large and hardy enough to sustain pelagic travel. Therefore, it is unknown if these regions are inhabited.
Torn was once a world of many gods, and was approaching a day when the warring city-states and disparate villages could find common ground and begin forming larger kingdoms. Trade between villages and city-states had begun in earnest a generation ago, and many hopeful leaders of the civilized races expected optimistically that the races of Torn would someday soon develop a common language with which they could communicate without the trouble of translators and missed meanings. It was considered an important step towards peace between the many races.
That all changed seven years ago. Because of the nature of the catastrophe, none know why or what caused the silencing of the gods. Trade lines were cut off and communication and cooperation between city-states and villages ceased entirely. The people went back to their old ways of mistrust and warfare, and civilization ground to a halt, leaving the wilderness virginal across vast swathes of the world. Strange storms of immense destructive power roared across the continent, and raids by Black Riders began in the remove villages of the world.